Technophile

Smartron t-Band Review: Neat, functional

R Dinakaran | Updated on September 17, 2018 Published on September 17, 2018

The Smartron t-Band comes with a 0.96-inch OLED display and has good sunlight visibility.   -  Image source: Smartron website

There are smart watches and bands like the ones from Samsung and Fitbit. Then there are the ones from the Xiaomi’s. And there is Smartron’s t-Band - positioned somewhere in-between. Will it be able to compete with the likes of Mi Band and other fitness bands that have been around for quite some time?

First, the looks. The t-Band comes with a 0.96-inch OLED display, which looks quite nice and has good sunlight visibility. The monochromatic display could be a let down for those used to high-end displays like the one used by Samsung bands, but it is more than enough if you just want a neat, functional one.

There is a small metal strip/sensor on one side where the user has to tap to scroll through the different functions. Each tap takes the user to different functions.

The band package includes a band, a (proprietary) charger cradle and an extra leather (great-looking) strap. The cradle is small and likely to get lost. It is better to keep it attached to a USB cable so that it is easier find it and plug it in.

The straps are easily changeable. It helps if you have nails to press and hold the pins while changing them.

Lack of physical buttons

The band does not have any buttons - except for the metal sensor. It has to be paired with the t-health app to be activated.

The best part of the band is that it can monitor and check ECG, blood pressure, heart rate and sleep patterns. It also has activity tracker and smart alarm functions.

As mentioned earlier, there are no physical buttons anywhere, except for the metal strip/sensor to scroll through various screens. The screen also does not support touch.

There is no way we can switch on or off the band because of the lack of physical buttons. If you would like to switch off the band, there is no other way than to wait for the battery to die.

How does one switch on the band? Just by charging it and connecting it to the t-health app. The band syncs with the app via Bluetooth and receives the data, including date and time. (Of course, you have to enter your personal details in the app, including your height and weight). The sync interval can be changed from the app.

The band has to be worn at three inches away from the wrist for accurate tracking. The band is supposed to show the time at the flick of the wrist, but does so only occasionally. To be fair, even the 20K+ smartwatches haven’t fared well in this area. The time can be displayed by tapping on the sensor.

For measuring heart rate and other data, the user has to scroll to the desired mode (ECG, blood pressure, heart rate) by repeatedly tapping the sensor and keeping our finger on the same sensor. It takes at least 30 seconds for a proper reading.

The sync between the band and the t-health app is not instant. It takes a few minutes (sometimes even more) for the data to sync and display on the mobile. The sync also fails often.

The band also alerts the user if he has been inactive for a long time - by a short vibration and a running icon on the band screen.

Battery life

The t-health app has a Health Index that displays the user’s overall health in percentage. The percentage has no meaning if the user doesn’t understand it, but the app gives little help. The Health Index also tells us our fatigue levels, but it is always not accurate. Sometimes, it is odd when it tells us we are energetic when in reality our energy levels are down.

One of the best features is the battery which lasts for over four days. The charging is also quite fast - hardly an hour from zero to 100 per cent.

The build quality could have been better. The metal trackers at the bottom came off within a few weeks of use.

The price of ₹4,999 could appear to be high, compared to what the likes of Xiaomi offers, but the features the band offers make up for it. Not many bands offer ECG and BP readings.

A small improvement on the build quality and responsiveness could make the band a must-buy.

Pros: Good battery, fast charging, several functions not found in other bands, competitive price.

Cons: No physical buttons - including for powering on or off, responsiveness can be better.

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Published on September 17, 2018
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